Historic Holiday Homes

Most historical sites have special holiday-themed tours this time of year, along with fun activities for all ages. I especially love taking tours of historic homes to see decorations from Christmases past. Check out some of my favorites below, and let me know which ones to add to my must-see list!


Virginia

Virginia has a huge collection of historic homes given that it’s the oldest colony in what is now America. Here are a few of my favorite holiday tours!

Agecroft Hall and Gardens – be sure to put its annual (free!) open house on your calendar for fun games and activities, including meeting Father Christmas.

Virginia House – only open a few times a year, its annual (free) Christmas open house, held in conjunction with next-door Agecroft, is a great time to see this English manor home.

Wilton House – a colonial home to the illustrious Randolph family, Wilton is decorated for several centuries of celebrations, from the 18th century parties to the Victorian-era Christmas trees to mid-20th century traditions. I attended its 200 Years of Christmas in Virginia holiday open house this year and loved hearing about holiday traditions and stories. 

Virginia Executive Mansion – the oldest continually occupied governor’s mansion in the United States, this beautiful home is even prettier in the holiday season! 

Tuckahoe Plantation – the childhood home of Thomas Jefferson has a lovely open house in December.

Thanks to Libby McNamee for these lovely pictures!

Homes along the James River – many of the colonial plantation homes, including Shirley, Berkeley, and Westover, are decorated beautifully for the holidays. Check out the special tours they host in December.

Colonial Williamsburg – the decorations of the colonial buildings are authentic and a sight to see! Take one of the Christmas decorations tours to learn all about how they ensure the historically accurate decor or attend the Grand Illumination held every weekend in December. 

Mount Vernon – the home of George Washington is decorated for the holidays and has special activities throughout the season, including holiday fifing!

Monticello – the home of Thomas Jefferson has special evening holiday tours that take you to the little-seen iconic dome room.

North Carolina

Biltmore House – the grand dame of holiday homes, this spectacular mansion is a must-see at Christmastime!

South Carolina

Charleston – my favorite city has beautiful homes any time of year but Christmas is special! Check out the holiday home tours hosted by the Historic Charleston Foundation and these Christmas walking tours. 

Louisiana

New Orleans – six beautiful historic homes in New Orleans are open through the Preservation Resource Center holiday tour

Tennessee

Graceland – the home of music legend, Elvis Presley, you can take a special Christmas tour during the holiday season

On my wish list to see during the holidays is:

Check out this top 10 list and the book, Christmas at America’s Landmark Houses (affiliate link) for even more suggestions. What’s your favorite local historic home to tour during the holidays?

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